Our theme for this year is Welcome home and there’s good reason for it. I pray regularly that God will bring into our church the hurting, the lost, the lonely, and the broken. Of all the things that these people will need it is most especially: love, care, support, understanding, acceptance, friendship, and rules. These are the things that a good home provides and they are also what our church can deliver. But it will mean that we will have to be very clear about the rules for achieving this because hurting, lost, lonely, and broken people are all too often hardened, bitter, self-pitying, and very negative people.
Jesus asked a question, that I’m pretty sure every wife frequently asks her husband, “Do you love Me?” But the question Jesus asked of Peter was not the same as the similar sounding question that wives ask their husbands. The kind of ‘love’ that Jesus was asking of His disciple was extremely odd. And while many a sermon down through the centuries has claimed that Peter’s answer to the Christ was not satisfactory, I think they may have missed the point of this profound exchange between the Saviour and one of His servants. It is from this exchange that we are gifted one of the greatest insights into what love really is and why it requires something in particular.
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
Whenever I prepare a couple for their marriage, I stress several critical things that will help them build a happily-ever-after-marriage. The first thing I stress is that our preparation is going to focus on their life together—their marriage—rather than focusing on their wedding. The second thing I stress is that for them to have a happily-ever-after-marriage they need to learn how to love. Interestingly, what many couples come to realise is that these principles don’t just help improve their relationship—it also helps to improve their other relationships as well. I hope you’ll join me in prayer and pray that as we work together on Sunday to worship Jesus that they will indeed see Him who loves them and want to forgive them and become their heavenly father. I pray that we can love like Jesus. As we consider the fifteen greatest description of love ever given, I pray that it will challenge each of us to ask God for the help we need to love Him and to love others.